September 11th marks the end of one era in American history. As the world’s only superpower, the ball is largely in our court. Will we respond to the causes of terrorism, as well as to its awful effects? How can President Bush even hope to win a war against an elusive enemy that, like a cancer, has spread its tentacles everywhere around the world and across America? Where will Congress send our soldiers, our battleships and our war planes — in other words, where can we unleash our unquestioned military might without doing far more harm than good? How should America deal with these dilemmas?
Pope Francis said on July 31 that he would never call terrorism “Islamic terrorism” since all religions contain fundamentalist group, and with these comments he once again appeared to revolutionize the church. The statement came following his call in June for the Catholic Church to apologize to the LGBT community for centuries of discrimination. In his effort to move the church towards a new era of culture acceptance we should view Pope Francis with as much scrutiny as we would any politically savvy public figure running a public image campaign. And whether or not you believe that the Pope is doing his best with a centuries-old system or that he is not moving fast enough on certain issues, we can all agree at least he is moving. Then the question becomes: how sustainable is this movement after Pope Francis resigns or passes away?
But Wiesel’s legacy in the United States, and in many parts of the world, is not about adults. It’s about children, about teenagers, and, for the most part, his impact on non-Jewish youth everywhere. His legacy will be Night and the legions of American youth who read it.
So, as the earth continues in its perhaps doomed course of warming up, I would like to make a plea that people who rely on the Bible to justify their political stances on the environment read a little more carefully, so as to recognize that, to Jesus, the goods of the earth that we are most meant to preserve are the welfares of its human denizens.
Rabbi Mordecai Schreiber’s Why People Pray is a remarkable book. It is ecumenical and yet aware of a great deal of the history of both Jewish and Christian spirituality, as well as Muslim and Eastern approaches.
In short, we have been held and sustained by community before, during, and after our wedding. This community is not our “right.” It is our blessing. And our wedding could not have happened — not in any way resembling the awesome, precious way that it did — without the blessed love of that community.
After three and a half years, the peace negotiations between the administration of President Santos and the FARC-Ep guerrilla group taking place in Havana, Cuba have reached a breakthrough with a “bilateral and definite ceasefire” signed by both parties on Thursday, putting an end to the longest lasting internal war the world has ever seen.
American fascism is on the rise under the Trump banner. At first flush this claim may seem exaggerated, because there are no visible swastikas and no head-bashing armed storm troopers, and Trump uses none of Hitler’s hyperventilating antics. But what Trump and Hitler have in common is their approach to politics, which is/was radically new and geared to contemporary problems and uncertainties. The newness in both cases gave these two fascist movements added power at the onset.
The story of Jacob’s wrestling match with God falls between the stories of Jacob’s tricking his brother Esau out of his inheritance and their reconciliation. You may remember that Jacob, the younger son, conspired with his mother to trick his father into giving him both the first born birthright and blessing. Gypped twice by his brother, Esau was fuming, and promised to kill his brother after his father died. Now Esau did alright for himself despite Jacob and is coming with an army. Jacob, hoping for forgiveness and reconciliation, sends out a sequence of offerings to soften his brother’s anger.